Paying for Premier Protection

Celebrities hire private firefighters to protect their homes while everyone else relies on government assistance.

As most know, 2018 has been a year of cataclysmic fires for the state of California.  The most recent bout of conflagrations in both Northern and Southern California have claimed the lives of dozens and displaced more than 100,000 Californians.  While the fires have arguably been devastating for each and every citizen affected, some have had it a bit easier than others.

Recent reports have surfaced that celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West hired private firefighters to protect their homes from the fires.  Although the actions taken by the Wests are credited with saving an entire neighborhood (which is patently a good thing), it raises the issue of the discrepancy between the actions the wealthy afford to take and the realities of most Americans.  

The average person cannot afford to hire a team of private firefighters to protect themselves and entire neighborhoods from natural disasters.  Further, a significant portion of us relies on volunteer firefighters (the National Fire Protection Association reports that 69% of firefighters in the US are volunteers!).  What does it say about our nation that the super-rich can hire private protection while those who are least likely to recover from a traumatic disaster (e.g. a fire), rely on underfunded or fully volunteer protection?  I haven’t come to a conclusion, but it isn’t sitting well. The inequity is too great. What are your thoughts?

Oliver SperansComment